BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD
Life has not been too great as of late.† I havenít been able to write a single word for several months now.† As I try to assess whatís happening, I think I might be having a Desert Experience, but Iím not sure. †My communication with God seems to be one sided, me talking to God with no response coming back my way.† Iím not sure if Iím just not listening or whether my cell phone is out of reach.† This desert stuff has you in some fairly remote locations you know.
Even though I havenít changed any aspect of my life, the relationship Iím having with God is different.† God seems further away, and I donít know why.† I still read the Holy Scripture each morning before work.† I still pray throughout the day.† Iím still attending bible study twice a week, and Iíve been attending church each Sunday and Wednesday.† Heck, Iíve even been returning to church Sunday evenings for a menís fellowship hour.† Yet, God and I are not communicating.† I wonder if Iím too wrapped up in this worldís problems, or not wrapped up enough?† Am I losing my faith?† No, I donít believe so!† Then what is it?† Is God purifying me?† Is He putting to death the last of the old Brucie Becker?† Am I half way into my experience, or half way out?† Am I blessed for having it or have I miffed God somehow, some way?† I just donít know.† Yet, I still hear a small voice calling from deep inside.† That voice keeps repeating, ďBe still and know that I am God.Ē† Although I am a very proactive person, I have no choice, but to obey the small voice.† I have no choice but to be still and believe in who and what God is.
The Psalms have always been, and continue to be, a comfort for me during this track in the desert.† Not one specifically, but bits and pieces of them all.† Perhaps, like we said before, misery loves company, and when I compare my problems with that of Davidís, mine are pale in comparison.† It does oneís heart good to get in touch with the saints of old, and share the way in which they handled adversity. †Itís uplifting to read of the unwavering love David had for his Heavenly Father, even in the face of tribulation.† Even though some writers of the Psalms seem to face insurmountable odds, Godís love continued to comfort them.† One great Psalm that has provided an exceptional amount of comfort for me, is Psalm 91.† In it we hear the following comforting words: ďHe who abides in the secret places of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.† I will say of the Lord, ďHe is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.Ē† Surely He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.† You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walk in darkness.† Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.† A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.Ē
There almost seems to be a natural progression into Proverbs from the book of Psalms.† Perhaps it's because Proverbs follows the book of Psalms in the Holy Bible, or perhaps its because both speak plainly to life and its ills.† Within these two books lay all the peace-of-mind and wisdom one would need to make it through this valley we call life.† In fact, all of Solomonís writings are filled with much needed wisdom.† During the course of my studies through Solomonís books, namely Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, Iíve seen great wisdom, great riches, and great accomplishments; you know, your basic great king stuff.† Yet near the end of Solomonís life he stuns his readers by saying, ďvanity of vanities, all is vanity.Ē
Solomon concludes the book of Ecclesiastes with the following revelation/warning.† He says, ďFear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.† For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.Ē
That sounds like great advice in helping me to find my way through this desert thing.† Focus on God.† I need to place God at the very center of my life.† The very center of my being!† You know, Iíve noticed something about life.† That being when you focus on others, and take the emphasis off yourself, life seems to get better.† When you see the problems facing others yours have a way of shrinking.† Perhaps by focusing on God and the great mission He has commissioned for us, all this desert experience stuff will fade away like one of those glorious desert sunsets you read so much about.†
As you might remember from previous chapters, I am a member of the Armed Forces.† Being in government Iíve noticed how easy it is for one to get lost.† We sometimes have training in the Army that includes negotiating your way through a navigation course.† They drop you off and tell you to find your way home.† You have coordinates that you must plot on your map as you try to find your way from point A to point B.† Whatís scary is if Iím able to get lost in the woods, where there are things to focus on, whatís going to happen to me in the desert were there are no real objects to walk toward?† There is nothing to shoot an azimuth to.† Will I wonder forever?† But wait, what is that?† There is something to focus on!† Itís the cross of Jesus.† I have something to walk toward!† Iím saved!!
You see, even though you believe yourself to be lost, God doesnít.† He has placed landmarks along the way for you to find.† Salvation depends on your ability to recognize those landmarks and understand that they are from God.† So many times we accept the credit for the things that are from God.† The sin of sins, the sin of pride!† The sin of Lucifer!!† The sin of Death!!!†
Dear God, I know youíre there even though I canít see you, and I recognize the signs that you have left for me to find.† I ask that we once again commune and have fellowship, as we have in the past.† I ask that you help me to find my way back to you for I know that I am the one who strayed.† Like the little lamb who got separated from the flock, I ask that you send your shepherd, Jesus, to find me.††
Well itís time, once again, to make a choice.† Will I go right or wrong?† Will I take the road of least resistance, or the road less traveled?† Will I feel sorry for myself, or will I learn and grow stronger from the lessons I have learned?† I tell you the suspense is killing me. What will I do?† Only kidding, Iíve already chosen my path.† Iíve already made the decision.† As Joshua said in the book that bears his name, ďAnd if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourself this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fatherís served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.† But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.Ē††
Once again I am drawn back to the book of Psalms, Psalm 46 to be exact.† ďGod is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.† Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.† There is a river whose stream shall make glad the City of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High, God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.† The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.† The Lord of hosts is with us (me); the God of Jacob is our refuge.† Come; behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth.† He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.† Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!† The Lord of hosts is with us (me); The God of Jacob is our refuge.Ē† Yes, there is a small voice repeating inside my head, ďBe still, and know that I am God.Ē† What great advice. What great news!† Well, I must go now.† I hear God once again calling my name.† I hear the Shepherd calling to me, His lost sheep.† Iím coming daddy!† ďAh my little lamb where have you been?Ē† Truly Lord, I just donít know.